Sri Lanka in Australia 2004 June 27, 2004

McGrath ready to go

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Glenn McGrath: a 500% increase in confidence in a matter of a day © Getty Images

An elated Glenn McGrath is completely satisfied with his fitness and has declared himself "ready to go" for the first Test series against Sri Lanka. McGrath had gone into the tour game, between the Northern Territory Chief Minister's XI and the Sri Lankans, under plenty of pressure after a less than satisfactory performance in the one-dayers in Zimbabwe.

Though McGrath finished with modest figures of 1 for 25 in his 14 overs in the second innings, he was happy with the rhythm that he found. "I'm a lot more confident now than what I was before this match here. That's the best my ankle has felt and the best I've hit the crease for the last two-and-a-half years and to me that was the secret to me bowling well."

McGrath also added a bit about his confidence levels, which seemed to have shot up exponentially. "My confidence is, yesterday morning compared to now, it's 500% better. I'm so much more confident and couldn't be happier at the moment."

Justin Langer, who captained the Chief Minister's XI, revealed that he spoke a lot to McGrath before the game and adviced him to be a little patient. "I was really keen to encourage him and just tell him to be patient because he has got a bit down on himself. Again he is human and he probably hasn't played much in 12 months. His confidence is down a little bit which happens to everyone, and probably never really happened to him throughout his whole career."

Langer termed McGrath's performance as "fantastic" for most of the game, and said he would believed it wouldn't be long before he was back to his best. "It's like a Rolls Royce," he added, "you've got to be a bit patient, get the oil going, I thought he just looked fantastic for this almost the whole game."

And he even suggested that McGrath should be given the new ball by adding, "If I was [Ponting], I'd give him the new ball. The boys get here tomorrow so no doubt we'll talk about it. I just thought he looked as you always expect Glenn McGrath to bowl."